Why #BellLetsTalk is important in Calgary

Posted by Justin Havre. on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 at 11:29am.


Now more than ever, many Calgarians are forced to sell their homes for economic reasons.  Real estate agents throughout the city are often privy to sensitive information from clients who often share the challenges and difficulties that led them to a difficult decision to sell their most prized possession – their home.  As professionals, it’s their duty to do their utmost to guide them through the sale process with compassion, integrity and discretion.

It's important for people to share their problems with someone. A real estate agent will lend an ear but it’s increasingly more important for people to reach out and connect with mental health professionals who will truly make a difference.

Hence the importance of today, January 25, 2017.  The 7th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Launched in 2017 across Canada, Bell Let’s Talk started to tackle the stigma of mental health in our country.  Even 7 short years ago, most people were not talking about mental illness, whether it be anxiety, depression or other more serious mental health issues.  Olympian Sarah Hughes started the discussion publicly and now other Canadian personalities have joined in open conversation, willingly sharing their own challenges.

As a result of this fundraising and awareness initiative, many mental health organizations have received a cash injection to fund programs with a goal of $100 million estimated to be raised by 2020.

Let’s Talk Day in Calgary

In our city, the National Music Centre is putting on special programming to create awareness and enhance education surrounding mental health initiatives in Calgary.  There are exhibits, a presentation on the benefits of music therapy and tonight, a concert with Maritime singer songwriter Sean McCann who has also joined the group of Canadian personalities endorsing the Let’s Talk Program.

McCann hails from Newfoundland and was one of the original members of the musical group Great Big Sea.  McCann broke away to start a solo career, with one of his most recent songs chronicling his struggles with his own mental health issues including addiction.

The public can access this programming today with paid admission to Studio Bell in the East Village today until 5:00 pm. The concert is tonight at 7:00 pm when Sean McCann will take the stage for an hour and a half concert with songs, stories and sharing.  There is no charge for the concert but tickets must be acquired ahead of time at the Studio Bell website.

How Funds are Raised

Today, telecommunications giant Bell will give five cents towards mental health initiatives in Canada every time someone sends a text or makes a phone call on a Bell network.  It’s not necessary to be a Bell customer to help raise funds.  Five cents will still be donated by Bell when:

  • Someone Tweets using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk
  • Someone views the Bell Facebook Let’s Talk Day video on their Facebook page
  • Someone posts on Instagram using #BellLetsTalk
  • Someone send a Snapchat using their unique Let’s Talk geofilter

Last year, the Let’s Talk Day made some impressive gains by setting records with 125 million messages for a cumulative total of $6.295 million.  The hashtag was the Number One trending hashtag that day in Canada last year and the most used hashtag on the planet that day in 2016.

Studio Bell and the National Music Centre

This fantastic facility in the East Village was a long time coming.  It’s a high-tech music facility and the first cultural facility of it’s kind in Canada celebrating music in all of its various forms.  It’s a massive 160,000 sq. ft. structure featuring five floors of museum and exhibition space including artifacts, a variety of instruments, music technology and of course, recording studios, classrooms and event space.  It also has an auditorium with a capacity of 300.

Everyone needs someone to talk to and professional advice sometime.  Let's erase the stigma.

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